Why isn’t my milk frother frothing?


There is good and bad news here. It’s obviously not great if your milk frother isn’t frothing. But the good news is that it can only be for one of three reasons, all of which are very easy to fix. Either you’ve not fitted the whisk head, you’re not frothing long enough or you’re using the wrong milk.

Let’s expand on that.

Why your milk frother isn’t frothing

If you’re using an electric milk frother and your milk is remaining stubbornly flat or only creating microfoam the most likely cause is that you haven’t fitted the whisk.

Most electric or automatic frothers have three functions. They foam hot or cold milk or simply heat milk without foaming. When heating milk the whisk at the bottom of the jug is removed. If the whisk isn’t replaced you won’t be able to foam your milk. Check that the whisk head is in place.

Must read article: Is a milk frother worth it?

If your frother is brand new and isn’t foaming it’s likely the whisk head hasn’t been fitted. It’s sometimes stored on the lid so check there.

No fats no froth

The other reason why your milk frother isn’t frothing could be the milk you’re using. This can apply no matter which type of milk frother you have.

UK and US milk and cream comparison

Different milks foam differently. The general rule is the more fats the better. This is why whole milk froths best.

If you’re using no fat (skimmed milk) or most of the plant based milks you won’t get the same amount of foam as you would if you used whole milk.

This obviously isn’t great news for vegans. Of the plant based milks soy and oat tend to foam the best.

However, barista blend milks make exceptional froth.

They are still vegan and you should be able to buy them from your usual supplier.

It’s all in the timing

The only other reason why your milk frother isn’t frothing is that you’re not frothing long enough.

This shouldn’t be an issue with an electric frother (they’re pre-programmed), but if you’re using a handheld frother you should whisk the milk for at least 30 to 40 seconds.

However, if you’re using a cheaper frother with a small whisk head (like the £1 Ikea milk frother) it could take longer so stick at it.

Let’s sum up

The likeliest reason why your automatic frother isn’t frothing is that you haven’t fitted the whisk head. Otherwise it will be the milk you’re using. Handheld frother users should ensure they whisk for at least 30 seconds to create a thick foam.


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